It’s resolution time again, isn’t it? Or not. I suppose any time is a good time for improving, restarting, or renewing something. My suggestion is that if you are planning a resolution, surround it with lifestyle changes that will make it easier to become a habit.
Perhaps the resolution urge comes from God making us in His image, and He is about restoring, reconciling, and renewing. When He created the earth it was dark, formless, and void. But He renewed it with light and life, and saw that His creation was good.
But we still need renewal because things didn’t stay good. While love and beauty abound so does evil, reminding us that this is a fallen world. Actually, that’s on us. We collectively ruined things when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. Any brokenness you observe or experience has its root in that.
But thankfully, things do not have to stay ruined. God the Son stepped into the world to wipe away the root cause of sin and brokenness. That means rebirth is possible. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pet. 1:3). It means renewal is possible. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Cor. 5:17).
God’s renewal of creation will continue. John the Apostle saw a vision of a new heaven and a new earth in the future. He heard Jesus saying, “Behold I am making all things new” (Rev. 21:5). Knowing that brokenness and ruin are impermanent encourages you to endure the twisting and turning of the world. As a believer, you are an ambassador for Christ and part of His visible work in this world as He renews it one life at a time. Be about your Father’s business, as Jesus was.
Smith and Stonestreet in their book Restoring All Things list four questions that can help you resolve how to participate in God’s renewing work in the world. (1) What is something good that you can promote or protect? (2) What is missing that you can provide? (3) What is evil that you can stop? (4) What is broken that you can restore? These questions are good for churches, volunteer organizations, and businesses as well.
Your response may be something you do alone, or with others. You might need the courage to do something counter-cultural, or the discipline to do something time-consuming. As you participate in God’s work of renewal, your family and community will benefit. Even more, it fulfills the purposes for which God renewed you.